Continuous Glucose Monitoring


About


As a diabetic person will tell you, they have to continuously check their blood glucose levels throughout the day. This is no easy task and requires them to prick themselves on multiple occasions to frequently monitor their blood glucose levels. For a normal, non diabetic person, this is not an issue as your pancreas does all the work for you. Throughout the day your pancreas self regulates your blood sugar levels by stopping and allowing the release of insulin into the blood stream.

With a continuous glucose monitoring system in place, the need for constant pricking is not an issue. The daily levels are continuously accounted for allowing for an easier adjustment of blood sugar levels. This even means keeping track of the levels when sleeping, which in the past proved troublesome.

Continuous blood glucose monitoring is comprised of a two part system that determines the blood glucose levels constantly. A small chip is inserted under the skin in a variety of patient friendly comfortable locations to continuously monitor the glucose levels in the tissue fluid. The second part of the monitoring system involves a wireless receiver that accepts and records data from the chip itself. These systems allow the patient and doctor to evaluate how blood glucose reacts to exercise, food, insulin, and other environmental factors with constant feedback. This metadata on the patient can help identify risks in the patient's behavior and help them alter their actions to better protect themselves.

external image Glucose-Monitoring.jpg
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/glucosemonitor/images/Glucose-Monitoring.jpg

Benefits of CGM
  • Constant monitoring
  • Less pricking
  • Convenience of use


Drawbacks of CGM
  • Costly
  • Not covered by insurance
  • Accuracy. Data still needs to be verified by finger prick readings.


Technologies


external image toumaz.jpg

Toumaz Technology Band-Aids

This technology allow doctors to remotely monitor a patient's blood sugar, PH level, and blood pressure through an integrated electrocardiogram and accelerometer.

Benefits
  • Remote monitoring
  • Ease of use
  • Price is as low as $5.00 per user

Drawbacks
  • 5-7 Day battery
  • Bio hazardous disposal

University of Maryland's Biotechnology Institute Blood Sugar Monitoring Contactsexternal image Contacts.png

Instead of using blood, Dr. Chris Geddes of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute has produced contact lenses that check wearer's blood glucose. The group is also working on a contact lens that would change color like a traffic light - from green to yellow to orange to red - enabling the wearer or an observer to determine a broader range of blood sugar level, from too low to too high.

Benefits
  • No pricking fingers for blood
  • Ease of use
Drawbacks
  • Cannot be used with blind users
  • Tears glucose levels lag 30 minutes behind the blood


References

Engadget (Band-aid) - http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/05/wireless-chip-on-a-band-aid-to-monitor-patients-from-home/.

Engadget (Contacts) http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/15/researchers-develop-blood-sugar-monitoring-contacts/
News Scientist (Contacts) - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7182-contact-lenses-react-to-bloodsugar-levels.html
WebMD (Contacts) - http://diabetes.webmd.com/features/glucose-meters-development
- http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/continuous-glucose-monitoring-topic-overview